JD.com, China’s second-largest e-commerce firm, said on Tuesday its third-quarter revenue grew 38% from a year ago, slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations.
The rise, along with fourth-quarter predictions that could potentially end a recent trend of slowing quarterly growth, sent the company’s shares higher in pre-market trading.
The online shopping firm, whose shares have fallen 26.5% this year against a 10.5% rise for larger rival Alibaba Group Holding (BABA), also said it aims to restructure its finance unit and hold no equity stake.
JD.com (JD) said revenue for the three months ended September was 60.7 billion yuan ($8.86 billion), just beating an average estimate of 60.2 billion yuan, according to a survey of 15 analysts by Thomson Reuters.
JD.com in August forecast third-quarter revenue of 59-61 billion yuan, amid concerns that China’s retail sector would be hit by a slowing economy.
JD.com’s shares rose as much as 5.6% in pre-market trading.
The company’s net loss for the quarter expanded to 807.9 million yuan from 534.9 million yuan a year earlier.
It predicts fourth quarter revenue of 75-77.5 billion yuan, which represents a stable or increased growth rate of 37-42%.
JD.com made a net loss of 0.64 yuan ($0.10) per American Depository Share in the third quarter, compared with a loss of 0.39 yuan a year earlier.
Finance Arm Restructuring
The online shopping firm now plans to reorganize its JD Finance arm and hold no equity in the unit, so that it will become a wholly Chinese-owned entity.
The move would put the business in a similar position to that of competitor Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group, a domestic Chinese entity still closely tied to the original e-commerce company.
JD.com CEO Richard Liu was the only planned buyer named, though the company intends for others to participate.
The move will enable it to apply for licenses that Chinese law forbids foreign-invested companies from owning, such as for securities and mutual funds.
Afterwards, JD.com will receive 40% of JD Finance’s pre-tax profit when it is profitable before tax. If Chinese regulators allow it, the e-commerce company can in the future convert its rights back into a 40% stake.
In January, JD Finance raised $1 billion from investors including Sequoia Capital China, China Harvest Investments and China Taiping Insurance and was valued at 46.65 billion yuan ($6.81 billion).
Despite the intention to become a domestic entity, JD Finance is not yet profitable and can only list in China after having been so for three years.
This story has been updated.